Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), Nuremberg

Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), Nuremberg (must see)

The Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) is a landmark of Nuremberg, located on the eastern side of the city's main market. This church, exemplifying brick Gothic architecture, was constructed between 1352 and 1362 under the direction of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. It was built on the site of a former Jewish synagogue, tragically razed during the pogroms that followed the 1349 outbreak of the Black Death.

Designed to serve as a ceremonial place for imperial events, the church features a distinctive porch with a balcony. The architectural design is relatively modest, focusing on functionality and symbolic decorations, including the coats of arms of the Holy Roman Empire, the seven Electors, the town of Nuremberg, and the city of Rome—significant as the coronation site for Holy Roman Emperors.

Inside, the church houses a rich collection of medieval artworks. Notable among these is the Tucher Altar, circa 1440, which originally served as the high altar in the Augustinian Church of Saint Vitus. Additionally, the church contains two monuments crafted by Adam Kraft around 1498, showcasing the artistic heritage of the era. Many of the sculptures within the church have undergone extensive restoration, preserving their historical and artistic value.

A prominent feature of the Church of Our Lady is the mechanical clock (Männleinlaufen) installed between 1506 and 1509. This clock not only tells time but also commemorates the Golden Bull of 1356, featuring a mechanized display of the Holy Roman Emperor seated with his prince-electors. The clock stands as a symbol of the church's historical and cultural significance, bridging Nuremberg's past with the present.

Why You Should Visit:
Photogenic, easy to find, with some lovely stained glass windows and a late Gothic altarpiece from 1445 inside. On a very cold, rainy day it also provides a place of refuge, warmth and peace.
At its front door are the open-air stalls, selling lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, and gingerbread. Going up the steep steps to the viewing area overlooking the market is quite an experience.

Try to visit at noontime when the clock mechanism is activated. After the bell tolls the hour, you can watch an animated procession with figures depicting the electors of the Holy Roman Empire paying homage to the Emperor. It's a brief but entertaining show if in the area.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Nuremberg. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) on Map

Sight Name: Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
Sight Location: Nuremberg, Germany (See walking tours in Nuremberg)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Nuremberg, Germany

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